Family • Amaranthaceae - Aerva lanata (Linn.) Juss. - MOUNTAIN KNOT-GRASS

Scientific names

Achyranthes lanata Linn.
Aerva lanata (Linn.) Juss.
Aerva brachiata Walp.
Illecebrum lanatum Linn.
Celosia lanata Blanco

Common names

Apugapugan (Tag.)
Karlatan (Ilk.)
Pamaynap (Tag.)
Taba-ahas (Tag.)
Aerva (Engl.)
Mountain knot-grass (Engl.)
Stone-breaking plant (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

HINDI: Chaya, Kapurijadi.
INDIAN: Polpala.
INDONESIA: Katumpangan uler, Rumput upas-upasan.
TAMIL: Sirupulai.
VIETNAMESE: Mao v[ix] l[oo]ng.

Taba-ahas is an ascending or prostrate, densely hairy herb, stems of which are 0.2 to 0.8 meter long. Leaves are alternate, elliptical to orbicular or obovate, 1 to 3.5 centimeters long. Flowers are numerous, borne on many white axillary spikes, 1 centimeter or less in length, solitary or crowded in the axils of the leaves.


– In open dry waste places, at low and medium altitudes, and in regions subject to prolonged dry season.
– Commonly found in La Union to Batangas Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro; Marinduque; and Panay.
– Probably introduced.
– Also occurs in India to tropical Africa and Malaya (Sumatra, Java).


– Phytochemical analysis yielded alkaloids (ervine, methylervine, ervoside, aervine, methylaervine, aervoside, ervolanine, and aervolanine), flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin, isorhamnetic, persinol, persinosides A and B), methyl grevillate, lupeol, lupeol acetate benzoic acid, β-sitosteryl acetate and tannic acid.
– Methanolic extract yielded steroids, terpenoids, flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, sugar, carbohydrate, proteins, ash content and amino acids.
– Phytochemical analysis yielded flavonoid glycosides, aervitrin, aervolanine, aervoside, amyrin betulin, campesterol, canthin-6-one, 10-hydroxy-canthin-6-one, carboline-1 propionic acid, chrysin, β-ecdysone, daucosterol, hentriacontane, narcissin, β-sitosterol, syringic acid, feruloyl tyramine and vanillic acid.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings


(1) Effect of Aerva lanata on cisplatin and gentamicin models of acute renal failure / Annie Shirwalkar et al /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 90, Issue 1, Jan 2004, Pages 81-86 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2003.09.033 |

(2) Invitro Antihelmentic Activity of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of Aerva lanata Seeds and leaves / D Anantha, T Israiel Kumar et al / J. Pharm. Sci. & Res. Vol.2(5), 2010, 317-321

(3) Effect of Aerva lanata on solid tumor induced by DLA cells in mice / K G Nevin and P L Vijauammal /
Fitoterapia, Vol 74, Issue 6, September 2003, Pages 578-582 / doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(03)00148-5 |

(4) Effect of Aerva lanata on calcium oxalate urolithiasis in rats / P Soundararajan et al / Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol 44, Dec 2006, pp 981-986

(5) Anti-diabetic activity of alcoholic extract of Aerva lanata (L.) Juss. ex Schultes in rats / T Vetrichelvan and M Jegadeesan / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 80, Issues 2-3, May 2002, Pages 103-107
/ doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(01)00412-3 |

(6) In vitro Growth and Inhibition Studies of Monosodium Urate Monohydrate Crystals by Different Herbal Extracts / Bharat B Parekh et al / American Journal of Infectious Diseases 5 (3): 232-237, 2009 / DOI : 10.3844/ajidsp.2009.225.230

(7) Aerva lanata (L.) A L Juss ex Schultes / Vernacular names / GLOBinMED

(8) Aerva lanata: A review on phytochemistry and pharmacological aspects / Manoj Goyal, Anil Pareek, B. P. Nagori, and D. Sasmal / Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jul-Dec; 5(10): 195–198. / doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.91120

(9) Phytochemical studies on the terpenoids of medicinally important plant Aerva lanata L. using HPTLC / Yamunadevi M, Wesely EG, Johnson M / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2011)S220-S225

(10) Antidiarrhoeal Activity of Aerva lanata in Experimentally Induced Diarrhoea in Rats / Singh Sunder*, Rai A K, Sharma Praveen, Panwar Aakash Singh / Pharmacologyonline 2: 921-928 (2011)

(11) Antihyperglycaemic activity of alcoholic extract of Aerva lanata (L.) A. L. Juss. Ex J. A. Schultes leaves in alloxan induced diabetic mice / TusharA. Deshmukh, Bapuso V.Yadav, Sachin L. Badole, Subhash L. Bodhankar, Sunil R. Dhaneshwar / J. Appl. Biomed. 6: 81–87, 2008

(12) Antioxidative and Antimicrobial Study of Aerva Lanata / Muthukumaran. P, Shanmuganathan P and Malathi C / Asian Journal of Biochemical and Pharmaceutical Research Issue 2 (Vol. 1) 2011

(13) In vitro Anthelmintic Activity of Aerial Parts of Aerva lanata Linn / Juss Rajesh R*, Chitra K, Padmaa M. Paarakh / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research 2010; 2(4): 269-271

(14) ANTIASTHMATIC ACTIVITY OF ETHANOLIC EXTRACT OF Aerva lanata Linn. / Deepak Kumar*, D.N. Prasad, Jyoti Parkash, S P Bhatnagar, Dinesh Kumar / Pharmacologyonline 2: 1075-1081 (2009)

(15) Evaluation of Aerva Lanata Flower Extract for Its Antilithiatic Potential In Vitro and In Vivo / Jayaraman Uthaya chandirika, Ravi Kumar Nirmala Devi*, Gurusamy Annadurai * / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science Research 2013; 3(2): 67-71

(16) Inhibition of B16F-10 Melanoma–Induced Lung Metastasis in C57BL/6 Mice by Aerva lanata via Induction of Apoptosis / Kodappully Sivaraman Siveen, MSc, MPhil, Girija Kuttan, PhD / doi:10.1177/1534735412443853 / Integr Cancer Ther January 2013 vol. 12 no. 1 81-92

– Considered demulcent, anti-inflammatory, anti-lithiatic, anthelmintic, diuretic, febrifugal.
– Pharmacologic studies report diuretic, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, anti-diabetic, antiparasitic, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, anti-urolithiasis, antiasthmatic, antifertility and hypolipidemic properties.


Parts used

Considered an efficacious diuretic, and is said to be useful in catarrh of the bladder and gonorrhea.
– In India, roots are used to treat headaches.
– In the Malabar Coast, used as demulcent.
– Used for cough and as vermifuge for children.
– In Indian folk medicine, used as diuretic and for lithiasis. Also used for boils, cephalalgia, strangury, cough.
– In Ayurveda, recommended for all urinary diseases, spermatorrhea, leucorrhea.
– Plant used as anthelmintic.

Study Findings
• Antihyperglycemic: Study of alcoholic extract of A. lanata leaves in alloxan-induced diabetic rats showed significant antihyperglycemic activity.
• Hepatoprotective: Study showed hydroalcoholic extract of Aerva lanata possesses hepatoprotective activity against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
• Nephroprotective: Study of the ethanol extract of the entire plant of Aerva lanata in cisplastin- and gentamicin-induced acute renal injury in albino rats showed it possessed marked nephroprotective activity with minimal toxicity and offers a potential role in the treatment of acute renal injury caused by nephrotoxins like cisplastin and gentamicin.
• Antihelmintic: Study showed the aqueous and alchoholic extracts from the leaf and stem of Aerva lanata possess good anthelmintic activity on testing against tapeworm and an earthworm.
• Anti-Tumor: Study showed the partially TLC-purified fraction of petroleum ether extract to be cytotoxic to Dalton’s lymphoma ascites (DLA), Ehrlich ascites (EA) and B16F10 cell lines in vitro. Results indicate that the PEF significantly reduced the development of solid tumor in mice.
• Anti-Diabetic Activity: Study in alloxan-induced diabetic rats showed the alcoholic extract of A. lanata possess anti-diabetic activity and ameliorated biochemical damages in alloxan induced diabetic rats.
• Anti-Urolithiasis / Calcium Oxalate: Study showed administration of AL aqueous suspension to CaOx urolithic rats reduced oxalate synthesizing enzymes, diminished the markers of crystal deposition in the kidney. Results confirm that A lanata can be used as a curative agent for urolithiasis.
• Anti-Urolithiasis / Gout: Study suggested Routula aquatica and Aerva lanata extracts exhibited good monosodium urate monohydrate crystal (MSMU) growth inhibition. Results suggest a potential use for formulation of gout treatment.
• Antimicrobial: Study showed A. lanata showed considerable activity against P mirabilis, S paratyphi, B subitilis and Candida tropicalis.
• Terpenoids: Phytochemical screening of methanol extract of stems, leaves, root, flower and seeds yielded 27 different types of terpenoids. Terpenoids, also called isoprenoids, constitute one of the largest families of natural products accounting for more than 40,000 individual compounds of primary and secondary metabolisms. Plant terpenoids are extensively used for their aromatic qualities and play a role in traditional herbal remedies.
• Antidiarrheal: Study evaluated the antidiarrheal effect of an alcoholic extract using different experimental models–castor oil-induced diarrhea, charcoal meal test and PGE2 induced diarrhea. Results showed significant protection against P arrhea.
• Antihyperglycemic: Study evaluated the antihyperglycemic effect of alcoholic extract of leaves in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. Results showed significant dose-dependent reduction in serum glucose level. The observed late onset of action and prolonged duration of action may be due to improved pancreatic cytoarchitecture.
• Diuretic / Toxicity Study: Study evaluated the diuretic effects of a crude aqueous extract. Results showed a diuretic activity with marked increase in urine output, urine osmolality and urinary potassium excretion. Long term use showed not toxicological effects on the renal structure and function of rats.
• Antioxidative / Antimicrobial: Methanol and aqueous extracts showed promising antibacterial activity against Gram+ bacteria viz. B. subtilis and Staphylooccus aureus. Both extracts showed effective and concentration-dependent free radical scavenging activity, reducing power, and nitric oxide scavenging activity, possibly due to the presence of flavonoids and saponins.
• Anthelmintic / Aerial Parts: Study evaluated methanol and aqueous extracts of aerial parts for anthelmintic activity against Indian earthworm Pheritima posthuma. Piperazine citrate was the reference drug. Results showed both extracts exhibited dose-dependent activity, the methanol extract more active than the aqueous extract.
• Antiasthmatic: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of aerial parts in-vitro in isolated goat tracheal chain preparation model and in-vivo model using clonidine-induced mast cell degranulation in mice. Results showed dose-dependent antiasthmatic activity.
• Antilithiatic / Dried Flowers: Study evaluated an aqueous extract of dried flowers against ethylene glycol-induced renal calculi in albino wistar rats. Results showed the aqueous flower extract showed antiurolithiatic activity, better than cystone.
• Inhibition of Melanoma-Induced Lung Metastasis via Induction of Apoptosis: Study evaluated the antimetastatic potential of an ethanolic extract of Aerva lanata using the B16F-10 melanoma-induced lung metastases model. A. lanata inhibited migration of tumor cells, cell invasion, and activation of matrix metalloproteinases. Treatment with A. lanata induced apoptotic response.